While HBO is still trying to plug up the holes in their operation, it looks like the RIAA has found a way to curb a service that’s said to have been used by half of all internet users 16 to 24 years of age. That’s right; YouTube-MP3 is going to be calling it quits.
Tubefilter is reporting that the RIAA (along with a number of unnamed music labels) have won a settlement from German-based website YouTube-MP3, a service that’s been said to have served one million users daily, and by “serve,” we mean allowing users to take any YouTube video and turn it into an audio MP3, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of piracy. You know, everyday internet shit.
You can see where this becomes an issue, right? If “tens of millions” of songs are being ripped illegally on Al Gore’s internets, that turns into less money being funneled back into their pockets by way of YouTube ad revenue, spins on Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, or, you know, music actually being purchased. Sure, it made things easy for people who wanted their music quick, fast, and in a hurry offline, but it is illegal, and a nightmare of lost revenue.
As of now, there’s no word on how big the settlement between YouTube-MP3 and the RIAA/major labels is, and TorrentFreak reports the site and domain is being transferred to one of the major labels. It doesn’t appear to have been (yet), although when this writer just tried to convert a YouTube video to an MP3, he got hit with a message that said, “This service is not available from your jurisdiction.”
What does any of this truly mean for the pirates, you may ask? Not much, honestly. YouTube-MP3 might have been one of the biggest services for pirates and illegal downloaders, but it’s hardly the only one. The internet is resourceful; cut off one domain, and two or three spring right up in its place. Not a positive way of looking at things at all, but it’s just the way of the world.
The operator of YouTube-mp3.org — who was sued by the Recording Industry Association of America last year — has apparently agreed to hand his site over to the RIAA, TorrentFreak reports. The RIAA gets to keep the domain, apparently to keep other enterprising converters from moving in on it … the digital version of salting the earth.In return for no further prosecution, the site will shut down. It’s still up at the moment, but when I tried to convert an Imagine Dragons medley (don’t judge), I was told “this service is not available from your jurisdiction.”
It isn’t just the site the RIAA is putting on ice, either. According to the settlement documentation, the site’s operator is restrained from “knowingly designing, developing, offering, or operating any technology or service that allows or facilitates the practice commonly known as ‘streamripping.’”
The judgment has yet to be signed by the court.